Posted in True Story, Inspirational

It has been so long…

been so long

It sure feels that way regarding my presence in the blogging world. Not sure if any of my regular readers would have missed me. And amongst those whom I read and comment, have they been waiting for my feedback?

In the scheme of things we are really an insignificant being. Yet, I refuse to be bound by that thought. I am sure each one of us can be or could be that significant spindle that makes this world go around.


Here’s to a bright 2019.


Why the long silence you ask? well you didn’t ask. Still I feel that I owe it to myself to analyse, come up with excuses as to why I failed to write for so long. If I had failed to write, then that means I had not pondered and mused. I had not stopped my racing brain to stop and take a break. I did not give it an excuse to escape. I have ached to write but I had failed to make the next step.


It’s like tradition, I like to come screeching down, each end of year. But at least no deaths this year. At one stage I thought I was the one gunning for that place, but I have given the man upstairs clear signs to say ‘no thanks’ for the moment. Hopefully he gets the message this time and stops bothering me in the near future.

But even if the man upstairs stops bothering me the doctors haven’t let go of their prime money tree. “Que Sera Sera”

If anyone’s reading, I am okay, minor repairs and maintenance in progress, that’s all.


If that wasn’t exciting enough I decided to increase my work load. This job opportunity did come at an interesting time. My mind was at cross roads. I did not want to pass on such a great opportunity, but timing couldn’t have been any worse. Wasn’t exactly sure if I should add more stress to the already burning pyre. But the offer kept coming back at me with many alternatives and options. My desire to take up a new challenge overtook the hurdles that was staring at me. Final words from Hubby sealed the deal. I know he was reluctant as he feared the same thing, does she need the stress, could she manage the workload with her slightly compromised health. However, he could feel my anguish. With his support and maybe my bullheadedness there is nothing much I can’t do. So I gave my nod.

I had swapped my corporate career for family long time ago, initially because my youngest son decided to be a frequent flyer to the hospital and then his elder brother not wanting to lose the spotlight, lost his hearing and something had to give and it was my career that took the fall. No regrets on my part. I got to see my kids become healthy and happy. I saw them take their first swim, hold the tennis racket and kick the first goal. Along with that I also ran to the hospital many times not because they were sick but more because apparently they were being boys which meant many broken bones and stitches. My part- time flexible career allowed me to attend all the award ceremonies, school dramas and concerts. So, no it was not a sacrifice it was a privilege.

One who couldn’t walk 10 steps without needing the puffer is now a boxer. The other one’s hearing is not 100% but that has not stopped him from achieving what ever he wants. The one couldn’t walk without the puffer could always talk and now he is talking on the radio. On contrary, eldest was not much of a talker but he could always walk the walk and now, involved in building the new driver-less train line in Sydney. Sorry, proud Asian mummy moment slipped out.


The new job was really grueling at the beginning. Work was challenging, sometimes I felt I was out of my depth. It was a good test for my self confidence. The long hours and medications and it’s effects were dueling each other. End of each day I was exhausted. Close family were worried and I would say some are still questioning my decision. But that bullheadedness again, I am not one to throw in the towel so easily.

I am not exactly a religious person. But I guess there is one reason why I put myself on the fence of borderline agnostic rather than an Atheist. Sometimes, some things which are mere coincidences – just mere coincidences, but how does the timing become so apt it is hard to accept it as a mere coincidence.

At first I thought this job came to me at a bad time. Now I think differently. It has been an excellent distraction. I am happy to say that I am in control of my job as well as my health. I haven’t concurred either of them completely. It is a working progress.


Each one of us, is only promised today, tomorrow is a blessing. Let each day count. Even if you want to occupy that couch the entire day watching Netflix, do so because you want to. If you want to make money go ahead, if you want to spend that money, again, do so. It your life, it’s your choice. But just remember choices have consequences.


I like to finish up today with what I started. Yes, we may be an insignificant iota in this universe. But you never know how significant your actions or your words could be to another.

Believing, however small, however insignificant, that each one of us could make a difference, is what starts the process. One’s presence always matters.

Posted in Daily post, True Story, Inspirational

Just a mere Coincidence !?!…(part 2)

coincedence

“I remember my cousin telling me clearly, we’ll call you on the 19th and we can talk more.  How was I to know that he wasn’t going to keep that promise…”(Cont.. from part, I suggest that you read part 1 before you proceed.)

I am back at work after all the New Year celebrations.  It was the 7th of January, our office was relocating premises.  I was busy coding all the computers and its wires and extensions.  I was under the desk when the phone rang.  I just let it ring, as I wanted to get this done.  Sherrie who was at the reception popped in at the door and said “Uma why aren’t picking up the phone? it’s your mum on the line” Mum never rings me at work.  Immediately my thought goes to Arj my four year old, he was not the healthiest of kids.  I grabbed the the phone, mum started to slowly speak.  She said “Uma it’s not good news…” and she paused.  My mind starts racing and my hearts joins in too.  Mum continues “In Canada..Rama…”, I thought it was my uncle, she finishes the sentence.  My dear cousin had met with an accident and they believe he had passed away.

My racing heart came to a complete stop.  So did my mind.  It went blank.  Other than that one voice that just kept interjecting “No way, Not true”.  Brian my boss realised that something was wrong.  So did the others.  They made a cup of coffee and sat and talked me, they wanted to me to calm down before I started driving.

I start driving, I start planning my thoughts, I will go home and give a call to my sister in law to confirm the news.  This news came from other people not directly from the family.  They were still at the hospital as per the sources.  I was convinced he has somehow pulled through.  There was no way he could be gone.  No Way.  No Fricking way.  He is only forty years old, his wife/my buddy is only thrity five.  He has two small kids.  No Way, No He Can’t Go.  I just spoke to him to seven days ago.  No Way, Not True”. My mind kept chanting those words.

I am in one of the back streets.  I hear a big thud, I look through the rear view mirror.  A big Gum Tree branch just falls millimeters behind my car.  One millisecond earlier I would have been under that gum tree.  Same, same slightly different.  Force of the twins now attacking the kids?? Just a mere coincidence??  Maybe.

Between my cousin and me, I am the noisy one.  He was the calm, passive and quiet one.  He broke all those rules when he went.  He sent shook waves through the entire nation, the family and extended family. No one could fathom what had just happened.  But apparently that is life.

It just took one momentary lapse of concentration for that woman to drive through a red light and take out my cousin who was taking a left turn, to cause such carnage and misery. Some of us felt angry, some of us felt some kind of empathy but overwhelmingly all of us felt lost. I felt robbed.  I didn’t have a sibling of my own and even the one that I treated as my own brother was now taken.  I had to shun my emotions to soldier on Jan’s (my sister-in-law).  I hope God wasn’t listening to me then, if he was he was he would have rather shocked at the language I was using at him.  My personal observation here is that he screwed up well and truly on this case.

Time passed, his wife (my sister in law and friend) had accepted the sentence that ‘The Life’ gave her and of the sentence the court gave the other woman, the best way she can.  His kids grew with the remnants of the memories of their dad, and his parents struggled on, watching their grand kids to get a glimpse of their late son.  We blamed FATE for their destiny and moved on.

I had turned Forty the previous year in June.  So I was forty and six months on the 7th of January 2006.  I was on my way to my mum’s house with some essentials, bread, milk etc.  She was returning from Sydney that night and I wanted to put these things in her house before her arrival.  I was at the intersection waiting to turn right ( For those from the Americas, this would be like taking a Left turn for you), the lights change to green.  After a quick flick of the head to the right I start to move.  I hear someone’s horn, not sure which direction it came from. But there was a car coming at a speed from the right.  It all took just a split second.  I saw the other car driver right front of me.  I was sure I was gone that day, that very minute.  I felt jolt at the front, but the car drove off and I was still alive.

I was frozen for a few seconds.  I am not sure how I managed to brake in time, how/why the car behind me didn’t hit me.  I pulled into a side road to inspect the damage to the front of the car.  My number plate was screwed up.  That’s it nothing else.  Not another scratch.  But can you imagine how close the other car was if it had touched my number plate.

100_8588

Both cousin and I meeting with a similar accident on the 7th Jan and we were both at the exact age seems a little bit more than a coincidence to me.  Then again I don’t know if I am reading too much into it, to feel the connection between him and me.

I survived he didn’t, my uncle survived my dad didn’t.  Same, Same but different seems to be the theme in our lives.  It all has to be a mere coincidence.

The Universe is a one big question mark.  Do we have all the answers?  I guess in the scientific world most things can be rationalized as a mere coincidence and in the world of Mystic and spirituality it is Fate or a Miracle.  

 

Daily Prompt: Coincidence

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/coincidence/

 

 

Posted in Daily post

Just a mere Coincidence !?!…(part one)

coincedence

Fate, Coincidence, Miracle….

Questions, confusion, faith….

Opening the Pandora’s box..

I ponder where I sit with those words.  I straddle between Agnosticism and Spirituality.  I say spirituality and not religious, because my practice of religion is slightly different to the norm.  I do make the occasional visit to the Hindu temple.  I would kneel down at the chapel and same at Buddhist temples. It is just a place where it is peaceful and quiet to gather my thoughts, my fears, my appreciations, my hopes.

I do believe in the possibility of a God or a higher being.  But do I believe in total submission? I find it hard to believe that “God” would be so vain that he needs your prayers/praise.  I would think he is above all that.  If I was God, I would rather my disciples live peacefully than create wars on my behalf.  Hence the reason for me to give up on religion but embrace the creations of God, fight to preserve the good and pray for the ultimate miracle “chocolate to lose weight”.  Maybe I should start a religion.  My slogan would be “For the love of chocolate”.  Gone off track again.  In my last birth I must have been a Gold fish.  Promise some serious epiphany in the next paragraph.  So please read on.

I believe in doing good simply because it is the right thing to do.  And what feels right to me, not because it was written in some book.  I do sit on the cross roads of gray at times.  Educate yourself and thy neighbor. If it is a subject that you don’t know much about (eg Islam, LGBTQ and what ever else that you have not grown up with), Educate before you swallow in assumptions and rumors.

So do I believe in Fate?  Whether it be a great outcome or it be a disastrous one, I/we tend to lean on the word “Fate”.  It is fate that two people met and fell in love.  It is also fate that their love didn’t last forever.  I think in the latter we would say “it wasn’t meant to be”.  Someone meets with an accident and dies, well that was fate.  He survives that’s a miracle.

Questions, confusion… well then is blind faith the answer, but then again not everything can be answered by Science either.  So what is the answer.  Most times chocolate seems to do the trick.

The following are a trail of incidents that happened between my dad and his twin brother, not just the two of them, but by all of us in their circle.

My dad and my uncle aren’t Identical Twins.  In fact they are polar opposites in their looks and behavior.   All their lives they had things happening to them which are similar but opposite as well.  Yes I note the oxymoron, but read on…

My dad – Tall, Studious, funny, passive, pretty ordinary in Sports

My uncle – short, Studies – questionable, funny – more questionable, passive – definitely not, amazing in sports

My dad – One Daughter

My uncle – One Son

So here starts the explanation for the oxymoron similar but opposite.  One kid each but one had a girl and the other a boy.

Now both these kids (ie the daughter is thy self) without prior thinking or planning ended up marrying into the same family.  Please concentrate Sri Lankan Family Tree being explained, My husbands sister(my sister in law who happens to be my bestie) married my first cousin.  Again we didn’t plan it that way.  We were all living in different parts of the world at that time.

Now these two men, my cousin and my now husband share the same first name.  They both worked on ships. Here comes same but opposite.  My hubby joined as a Deck Cadet and ended up as the ships Captain. My cousin joined the engine room and ended up as Ships Chief Engineer.  Coincidence?? I shrug my shoulders.

My sister in law and myself both studied Science subjects but ultimately ended up in banks. She was in retail banking, I was in Corporate Banking, foreign exchange and financial markets.  Same same but slightly different.  I got out of it after sometime but remained in accounts based jobs.  Coincidence?? I purse my lips.

My Aunty and my mum were both heading for a Hysterectomy.  My aunt’s surgery was scheduled for September and my mum’s was in November. It was school holidays so mum decided to make a trip to her home town so she could be of assistance to my Aunty.  The day of surgery dawns, my dad, mum and my uncle all accompany my aunty to the Hospital.  Once my Aunty was wheeled back from the surgery mum and dad decided to head back home.  It was rather late in the evening.  On their return journey my mum broke her leg while getting off the bus.  She had to be taken back to the hospital and had to undergo emergency surgery for her leg and was on the next bed to my Aunty.  So the wives of the twins were attacked by the”Twin Force” too.  Coincidence?  Yes okay, I am happy to put that down to coincidence.  Read on.. spooky stuff on its way.

Life wasn’t meant to be happy all the time.  I am not sure if its not meant to be but it never is.  My dad said good bye to us at the age of Fifty Three. My uncle was living miles away in a farm felt a pang in his chest on the night of my dad’s passing and the next morning he was delivered with this shattering message.  The funeral rites are usually done by the son.  My cousin was out at sea at that time, my uncle was then asked to do the rites. The priest chanted the mantras and was instructing uncle how to do the various rituals.  I have never seen my uncle so subdued.  Tears just poured down his cheeks as he was performing the last rites for his twin brother.  I thought it was almost cruel to have asked him to do the rites. He later told me that it was really hard but also felt it was fitting and was his privilege.

A few months later.  My uncle was about to catch a bus to another village.  Just before he boarded the bus, he had an informal chat to this shop keeper/friend/acquaintance. I am just picturing the scene, uncle with a cup of tea or coffee, having a chat with this other bloke, knowing my uncle, he was probably complaining about some one or something.  Finishes his cuppa and says “anyway I am off” and gets on the bus.  A few hours later the shop keeper hears that the bus that just left had met with a horror accident.  So this man  rushes out in his car looking for the bus. These are remote areas.  So I am guessing they just had the one ambulance, which had already left with injured survivors.  They had left the deceased on the road to come back for later.  The shop keeper found my uncle on the road left for dead.  His nose and ears ripped off, with multiple fractures but somehow this man felt that he was still alive.  So he rushed my uncle to the hospital with all the bits of pieces that were beside him.  He was patched up and came out good as gold.  So he had a near death experience but he survived.

We had our kids and settled in Australia and them in Canada.  I was very close to my cousin.  Both without any siblings of our own considered each other to be brother and sister.  When we were young, my cousin would spend most of his school holidays at our place, he could accompany my dad to the lab and study with dad. At younger days he would teach me Caram (a board game played in most parts of the sub continent).  We did sometimes fight especially when I get caught cheating in card games. It progressed from Caram to tutoring me Physics as I neared year 12.  It is really bizarre how we both happened to marry into the same family.  Fate, coincidence… what ever it was, it made us very close.

I think it was year 2000 or 2001, I think it was just after the Sydney Olympics, the four of them came over to Sydney for a holiday.  We celebrated my cousin’s 40th at our house.  Jan (my sister in law) and I were being are normal selves.  We raided all the shops and made our husbands shiver.  Life was beautiful.  This was in May.  Clocks strikes 12.00 on the 31st Dec and we receive a call from the two of them.  Excited as ever wishing us Happy New Year.  We didn’t talk for long as both of us wanted to ring other people as well.  It’s our wedding anniversary on the 19th of Jan.  I remember my cousin telling me clearly, we call you on the 19th and we can talk more.  How was I to know that he wasn’t going to keep that promise.

I am going to leave it at that for the moment.  Promise to continue soon.  Keep pondering Fate or coincidence.

 

To be cont…

Daily Prompts : Coincidence, Educate, Disastrous

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/coincidence/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/educate/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/disastrous/

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

If Only, I Could Turn Back The Clock … (part 9)

dad lab

Jana came running back as soon as she heard what unfolded that morning.  Mum and cuz Sulo got back from the hospital.  An uncomfortable silence kept the room still.  We each avoided eye contact.  Thangamma served the food for us and served her plate too and sat down with a heave.  I am not sure where the food came from either.  I cant remember anyone cooking. Maybe it was left overs.  We all ate in silence.  Even Jana was quiet.  She is never quiet. But tonight she was.

What now, another surgery I guess. After dinner Jana and I went to see our cousin Sulo to get some medical know how.  I don’t even know who suggested and came up with idea.  Cuz Sulo’s house felt heavy too.  She never stops singing or humming.  But tonight she was all done.  We asked her what now? another surgery?  She shook her head, “I don’t really know, It may be too close for another surgery”.  I think she knew, just that she didn’t really want to know.

I don’t know how long we were there for, and what we spoke about.  I think we all just sat in three different chairs and pondered to our selves. We both got back home and went to bed straight away. Jana slept on the next bed.  Mum and Thangamma were in the next room.  My memory is rather foggy, I can’t even be sure if Thangamma was there that night or for that matter in the morning or had she returned to TRI a couple of days ago.  But I know for sure that Jana was right next to me.

I had issues with the clock and sheep the whole night.  Sheep kept multiplying and the clock refused to move.  I think mum had the same problem in the next room.  By five o’clock we both gave up on sleep and sheep, and got to the kitchen the same time.  We made our coffees and sat down to discuss what to take for dad.  Usually mum would pack fresh clothes and some home cooked food for dad.  Velu stayed the night with him.  But on this day, we didn’t know what to pack.

We hear Parames Mami’s voice.  I think she was relieved to see lights switched on in our house indicating we were up.  She never visits us this early.

It’s Dad’s birthday tomorrow.  I so, don’t want to continue any further.  But I think I ought to.  Just because I suppress the memory, it doesn’t mean, that it doesn’t exist or it didn’t occur.  I turned fifty this year. I guess I am big girl now.  But in my heart I am still daddy’s little girl.

Parames Mami didn’t have to say anything, she just held her arms wide to hug mum, and mum and I started to weep.  It’s all a blur after that.

Dad never got to see my funny birthday card. Dad didn’t get a chance to approve (or disapprove) Ganesh.   Although I have a feeling he knew something.  He did mention to me once, quite randomly, “Ganesh is a nice boy isn’t he?”.  I really like to think he did and he was happy for me. More than anything, Dad never got to meet his two amazing grand kids and vice versa.  I have in time learnt to accept it as, “it’s fate”, “it was not meant to be”.In actual fact, it is just chants copied from others as a coping mechanism.

All this from start to finish, was just sixteen days.  The clock was ticking and turning a day at a time.  Each day with a twist, turn and at times with another nail for the box. We had no idea, that the clock was still ticking. Even when we thought that it had stopped and time had stood still, it was really still ticking.

This story has no happy ending. But, I guess that is life, it doesn’t always give you the results you demand or deserve.  We just have to remember the ticking clock stops for no one, make the most of life while it’s still ticking.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/clock/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fifty/

Posted in Daily post, True Story, Inspirational, Word prompt

Punishment – nuns

school

If there is a word that I truly understand the meaning of, it is Punishment. Punishment and nuns were in de facto relationship.

I was born a Hindu, but was sent to Catholic Boarding School. Not because I was a naughty child or my step mum didn’t like me.  Well in fact I didn’t even have a step mum.  It just that we lived far away from any decent school.

At school and in the boarding, you are constantly preached about forgiveness and the prodigal son etc, but we were never too far away from a Punishment. At least in Hinduism, there is no such thing as absolute forgiveness.   When you think about, it’s not a very forgiving religion at all.  You will have to pay for your actions.  If you were spared in this birth, you will be hounded down and will be paying for it in your next birth or there after.  “Karma” was our favorite word.  But at least the messages were clear. If you do the crime, you pay the time. Christianity is all about forgiveness and love, and most laws in most countries are founded upon Christian beliefs.  So how does one fathom, the death sentence?  Don’t get me wrong, some vermin’s do deserve to die.  But I am not sure if we can legislate that.  Anyway I got side tracked from my story from the past.

We didn’t get caned or anything, but standing out side the class room, standing on a chair, and sometimes kneeling was all sanctioned and prescribed punishment.   Public shaming without much proof or substance was also well administered.  And our crimes could range from uniform too short, slightly turning our head to look at a boy that had just entered our school premises etc.

Time to time they would like to crack down on some major issues as well.  After school holidays,we would usually arrive at the boarding the day before the school starts.  For what ever reason some boarders, would take another extra day off and come to school a day later.  I guess the theory was that most times, the first day of school was really a fudge day as nothing happens, other than new teachers, time tables etc.  I was one of the “goody two shoes” type of kid, so religiously got to school  from the first day.

But just this once, due to unavoidable circumstances I missed the first day.  My little cousin (from my mother’s side) accidentally tipped a big pot of boiling water on to her.  I was very fond of her, she even lived with us for a little while.  Anyway she lived in a farm in a place called Mannar, a small island off the main island of Sri Lanka.  Dad and I left as soon as we heard the news.  Couple of trains, a few buses, a van, a ferry and every other vehicle was boarded to get to their house, which was in the middle of nowhere.  This is Sri Lanka, so nothing was running on time.  So, although we planned to be back on time for the school restart, it just didn’t happen with the last train cancellation.  With no sleep and proper food, we got their a few hours late to the start of the school.  I asked dad to come with me and talk to the Principal and explain.

Sister Letitia was all so sweet to dad, she even said a quick prayer for my cousin.  With a hug and a kiss dad parted (hug and the kiss was for me, maybe that’s where we went wrong).  By the time I dropped my things at the boarding, got changed into my uniform it was lunch.  So after lunch I went to school.

I did see Sister Letitia in passing.  I couldn’t say if she was happy with me or angry with me.  You couldn’t usually read her face.  So, just a nod from both of us and we went our way.

The next day dawns.  Still tired and hungry, although by now I had sat for a few meals in the boarding, I haven’t actually eaten much.  I managed to sneak in most of my food in my mug and had shoved it down the sink.  This food would is so special it would make Oliver Twist to never ask for more.  Just after eating my mum’s for a month the body was completely shutting down and refusing to eat the “boarding food”. Anyway, after the morning “hail mary” and we had forgiven our trespassers, platting my hair, looking for my pencil case, and I rush to school eventually.  Still tired, hungry and coherent.

Announcement comes that all who were not at school at 8.30am yesterday had to go to the Principal’s office.  Well, technically I was not there at 8.30 so I thought, I will just go to the Principal’s office and get the okay nod and then return to my classroom.  Well, it is the right thing to do.

So Miss Goody Two Shoes gets to the office, and is met by some casualties already, there was a row of girls knelt down in front of the library.  My goody two shoes brain is kind of very smug at this point.  “well, they should have been here,  even with all the difficulties I managed to get here.  they do this every year, I mean seriously”. Sister Letitia sees me from the end of the corridor.  She waves to me and ask me to come to her.  I don’t want to have eye contact with those who are kneeling.  I didn’t want to show that I was sympathising with them.

I smile at Sister Letitia, there was no smile back.  I start to speak, “I was here by lunch time and Dad spoke to you..”  No, I didn’t get to finish my sentence, “yes, yes, yes good story, but you can kneel down here”.  “But ..” she had already walked away.

I was so furious.  Good Story!!  did she think that my dad lied too.  What was that prayer for?  Ah! you woman on a broom stick, you two faced woman on broom sticks cousin whose name starts with a B, yes I called upon a few  (inside my head).

Did the Punishment fit the Crime?

Daily post word prompt: Punishment

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/punishment/

Posted in True Story, Inspirational, Word prompt

Fifty and I know it…

50

Fifty and a day old.  Don’t feel any different.  But there has been a gradual transformation. Embryo to Fifty !! Pretty good effort on my part.  Mum had five miscarriages.  I said none of that, I am COMING, here I am ready or not.  Well not exactly those words.  But that’s what I did.  Born a survivor, I am still here kicking and screaming,  time to time, I had to keep reminding the man up there about it. (it could be man or woman,  I have no issues with either sex as the god).

Embryo to Now, pretty big transformation.  Body. Mind and Soul.  Caterpillar, cocoon to a butterfly. (I think, I got a bit ahead of my self there.  So I may not exactly be a butterfly more like a moth).

The core of me is still there, but the mind has gathered more thoughts, freedom, compassion, empathy along the way.  Transformation has been slow, but it has happened.

No Regrets.

written in response to today’s daily word prompt

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/transformation/

 

 

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

The Dreaded “C” Word (Part 8)

cancer

I got the same nurse Lyn Lee at CCU.  She was rather surprised to see me again.  But this time around the vomiting was very minimal. The doctor explained that they removed the rest of the thyroid, parathyroid and few lymph nodes and has been sent to the pathology for testing. I was recovering quite well.  It was day four.  The doctor walked in looking chuffed.  He was very happy.  The results were back and the cancer thankfully had not spread anywhere.  So, I think we got to it before it spread anywhere.  I am one lucky girl.

 

i beat cancer

This was the best outcome we could have had.  Still I had to go through more tests to make sure that it was not popping up anywhere else.  But for the moment it was GREAT news.

We had a chat to the boys and mum and explained what has been happening for the last couple of years.  And that I am now cancer free.  Mum was over the moon.  Hari was quiet for a moment and then he said, “mum is only 5ft tall but she is tough, she will be fine”.  Arj went quiet.  Afterwards, he said almost tearful “mum, some say that they have got rid of cancer, but it comes back after five years or so, will that come back for you too, what if it comes back?” I explained that yes it could come back.  Once you get cancer, there is no guarantee that it won’t come back again.

I went on to explain further, yes, I have escaped cancer now, but I could get hit by a car around the corner and die too.  In life there are no guarantees.  But just because there are uncertainties in life we don’t stop living.  If I get the cancer again, I just have to pick up where I left off the first time and this time I have some experience.  Arj was happy with that answer.

I had to go for monthly tests and then they became less frequent, 3 monthly, 6 monthly and now only annually. I still had to go for the annual endoscopy and colonoscopy because of a little inflammation/cyst of some sort near in the intestines.  Once again my fitness level had dipped. So I met Damien my personal trainer again.  He was excellent. For me it’s not just about losing weight to look pretty.  It is more to do with being able to move my body and use my body effectively.  To feel fit and healthy.  And that is exactly what Damien is all about.  Especially when you are after an injury or surgery, it is paramount that you are careful and that you don’t make things worse.

Hari got selected to enter University of NSW.  I was so proud of him.  He worked damn hard to get there.  From a very young age he was determined to become a Robotics Engineer and now he is at the door steps of his dream.  We were looking for accommodation etc for him in Sydney.  I decided that I will accompany him to show him the ropes and help him settle in.  For the rest of the world he is an adult.  But for me the mother he is still my baby. I am going to miss my baby, but I am going to hide those tears so he can achieve his dreams.

We were busy buying and organising things for his new apartment when I received a call from my Gastrointestinal Surgeon. He wanted to see me when I returned to Adelaide.   I had a feeling that this was for another surgery.  He wouldn’t be calling to say that I’ve won a million dollars now would he, it’s more like “I am running low on cash, can I open you up?” Yep, the small inflammation/cyst thing had suddenly grown into a massive lump.  This was sitting on the junction of the intestine/ oesophagus.  Being on that junction it was like on the corner of an S bend, was going to be a tricky operation.  And essentially Dr. Bessell was trying to avoid opening me up fully as that would be a rather big surgery.  His team of doctors believed they could do a laparoscopic surgery.  This would mean easier recovery etc.  He explained that they will try their hardest to do it that way, but sometimes they might have to change course and open me up.

My friend Sally worked in this hospital as a nurse and she came to see me before I was wheeled in.  Wish she was there to see my reaction, when I woke up. I woke up to find that I was opened from top to toe.  I stroked my stomach area to see where the laparoscopic holes were.  But I felt my whole chest feel really heavy and then yes, a big cut from the top of the rib cage up to the belly button.  They’ve cut me up like I was a piece of fish, gutted and filleted, okay maybe not filleted.

This was by far the worst of the surgeries.  As the oesophagus is in the back (inside the rib cage) behind heart and other organs.  So it’s similar to a bypass surgery where they have to open the rib cage up to get to this spot. The lump was benign after all that.  But I guess considering the size of the lump and my history they couldn’t take a chance and leave it there.

Recovery was slow, but steady.  I was in a lot of pain though.  By this time we had a new addition to the family.  Galileo our little pugalier pup.  We called him Leo for short.  Leo was a major part of my recovery.  Once everyone is off to school and work, it was just me, Leo and the TV.  He knew, he could sense it, that I was in a lot of pain.  He followed me everywhere and slept on the edge of my foot.  Keeping watch and keeping company.

In time I was now back to normal.  However, with these repeated surgeries, my body had taken beating.  Also a few months after this surgery I also managed to break my ribs a couple of times.  I felt like an old woman.  Walk was very slow.  My back hurt, my shoulder hurt and I had gained weight.  I was still my positive self, happy and chirpy. Everyone around me was happy to give the excuse that I have been through a lot and carrying a bit weight was the least of my worries.  They were not wrong, and I was happy to accept the same.

However, I was now convinced that I had to meet Damien again. If I am going to live, I am going to live well I thought.  I wanted to be able to everything I did when I was 21. I had cancelled my gym membership by this stage as the gym was not willing to put a stop on the payments when I go in for the surgeries.  I had whole heap gym equipment at home.  But I was worried again, if I was safe to use them.  Damien had left the gym.  But I managed to track him down.  He had opened his own gym.  A small boutique gym.  I started with him just on single personal lessons.  Back to Square one, or more like go backwards after each surgery.  One step forward and two steps backwards I thought.  Still I was prepared for the hard work.  Slowly I got the confidence to join his group class.  First class was just pure murder. But slowly I could feel my fitness improve, lose weight and feel great. I am probably still one of the weakest members, in the group. But it doesn’t matter.  I am not holding the gauge against the others, this gauge is a personal gauge.  The race is mine, and I am still winning the race.

18th September 2015.  With Damien’s encouragement I decided to take part in the City to Bay fun run.  As the day grew closer I felt very emotional.  Just an year ago I couldn’t walk 1k, now I am preparing to run 6k.  I wasn’t sure if I could really do it.  But I was going to try. I was going to give it a real go.

city to bay

I was very emotional that day.  When I saw the finish line, I realised this was really a start line or could say restart line.  My life starts again.